Hey Aunt Myrtle — check this out!
February 2, 2012 12:34 AM   Subscribe

I'm putting together a compilation of fun/cool/interesting/astonishing vids off youtube vimeo etc and etc to show to people, trying to give a little bit of a sense why I like the internet so much, why I get such a kick out of it, show to people who aren't as familiar with what is "out there" on the inter-tubes and/or aren't familiar with the net at all. So. Here's my question: What are your must-show videos, what do you share with friends and family, what video do you say to a good friend "Oh jesus, you've just got to see this!"

What videos are your must-show videos, what video do you show your Aunt Myrtle when you visit her in Peoria or Sheboygan, or, better maybe, what online videos do you think are great that you would never, ever show your Aunt Myrtle?

We might sometimes groan—ah, damn, another SLYT, life is such a drag—but the people I want to show this stuff to maybe haven't ever been on youtube, or anywhere else that we live every day.

You and I know that parkour is oh so long ago, yawn yawn yawn, but to someone who hasn't seen some Russian kid take off his shirt and jump around like an idiot, risking his life just for fun — well, it's interesting. I'm not saying to give me parkour links, just explaining the scene a bit, what I'm trying to do here.

So far I've got together a pretty good collection—those crazy kids who danced down their wedding aisle, a few health videos from Khan Academy (to show people what happened when I had the heart attacks; Khan has put up some good ones recently), plenty of vids that've been recommended from FPPs here and plenty that I've come across on my own as I wander around online.

Some videos about spectacular athletes, spectacular nature scenes, spectacular cats or dogs caught in the act of being themselves, on and on.

That fun christmas song by Tim Minchin, the opening scene from Reservoir Dogs (Tarantino explaining Like A Virgin — Toby, who da fuck is Toby? — Mr. Pink don't tip, he don't believe in it), the blind date scene from Play It Again, Sam, etc and etc.

I've got things I enjoy and lots of them but I'd like to hear your suggestions, what do I need to show, which online videos that I've never seen or have forgotten—anything appreciated.
posted by dancestoblue to Computers & Internet (32 answers total) 86 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Maru!
posted by rabbitbookworm at 12:41 AM on February 2, 2012 [5 favorites]

Best answer: ThruYou. An Israeli musician combed through YouTube and assembled dozens (hundreds?) of amateur musical videos into absolutely brilliant sonic masterpieces, an astonishing piece of work that would be impossible without the web. The most accessible tracks are probably "The Mother of All Funk Chords" (which does a nice job of subtly explaining how the project works) and the haunting "I'm New."
posted by Rhaomi at 1:03 AM on February 2, 2012 [4 favorites]

Take a look through a selection of TED videos.
posted by Petrot at 1:28 AM on February 2, 2012

Best answer: Muto, a wall-painted animation by Blu. Still knocks me out.
posted by lois1950 at 1:35 AM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: My autotune fav: Reality Hits You Hard, Bro
posted by infinityjinx at 2:01 AM on February 2, 2012 [2 favorites]

Best answer: At Xmastime, my parents got a huge kick out of the "literal video versions" of Total Eclipse of the Heart and Head Over Heels.
posted by flex at 2:08 AM on February 2, 2012 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Petrot: "Take a look through a selection of TED videos."
Yep, over the years I've gone through TED of course, love the one with Khan and Gates about Khan Academy, Julia Sweeny of course, Jill Bolte Taylor has a great story told well, and I wanted to choke that smarmy self-help schmoe that people rated highly but regardless him I surely do have my favorites there. But those are some that I like there at TED — I'm kindof asking what are your favorites?

lois1950: "Muto, a wall-painted animation by Blu . Still knocks me out."
Yes, I've got a couple of the vids from Blu that I love love love, so creative, so much fun. Exactly down the line of what I'm looking for.

infinityjinx: "My autotune fav: Reality Hits You Hard, Bro "
Fun! (and here is the original, in case anyone else is interested in seeing it)

flex: "At Xmastime, my parents got a huge kick out of the "literal video versions" of Total Eclipse of the Heart and Head Over Heels ."
This is the part I talked about, things I'd seen and forgotten -- I'd seen Total Eclipse and thought it was fun, had not seen Head Over Heels but it's good too, they're added to the list -- thanx!

And does anyone remember a short movie / video, WW2 Russian partisans attacking a German unit as they crossed a bridge, turned into a big nasty-ass firefight, the partisans were getting stomped and then out of nowhere came a regular Russian army force, with tanks, wiped out the German unit; one of the partisans, badly injured, wrote to his wife that he was crippled hopelessly, to see what her reaction would be (he thought maybe she'd bail on him), and she was furious tht he didn't believe in her love, and I'm not going to say much more because of spoilers plus I don't remember much more. But it was really well done, Russian I think, subtitled English, maybe 15 minutes long. I think I saw it four years ago, or five, or three, maybe linked here, maybe off Reddit... If it was linked here I've had no luck finding it, no luck finding it using Google either but my google skills are likely not the best here at MeFi.
posted by dancestoblue at 2:29 AM on February 2, 2012

Best answer: Animations by PES, I especially like Western Spaghetti.
posted by illenion at 2:52 AM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

Andrew Sullivan does a nice job of sharing great videos on his blog at the Daily Beast.

This search should find most of them:

"mental health break" site:andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com

Many happy hours of browsing there.
posted by woodman at 3:33 AM on February 2, 2012

Best answer: Grinding the crack - crazy wingsuit flight.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 3:56 AM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: To be honest, most of my "omgosh that is awesome!" videos tend to either originate or end up on Best of Youtube

posted by Cogentesque at 4:01 AM on February 2, 2012 [2 favorites]

Best answer: My mother really dug the Diet Coke and Mentos guys and Ok Go's treadmill video.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:34 AM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

The Kid Should See This
(and your aunt Myrtle too)
posted by gijsvs at 4:41 AM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

I'm constantly amazed by this guy I subscribe to, bkraz333, who does all sorts of really ridiculous experiments in his home lab. He's made a contact lens with embedded LED, extracted caffeine into a pile of white powder, built a Scanning Electron Microscope from scratch, eavesdropped by bouncing a laser off a window to measure its vibrations from the sound inside, and much, much more!
posted by losvedir at 4:59 AM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I actually have showed most of these things to Aunt Myrte's and friends although it is tailored to what they like and how they respond:

Webisodes (kudos to anyone who created their own work and plopped it online as a series), I try the first of a series tailored to the person's sense of humor:
The Guild (p1)
Dr.Horrible (p1)
Awkward blk woman (p1)
Misery bear (Goes to Work)

Things that make someone laugh, depending on interest:
• For the cat lovers,Simon animation, such as Cat Man Do or a video of an owner wrapping their cat
• For dog lovers, Ultimate Dog Tease
• Remake of old spice commercial starring Grover(Smell like a Monster)

Things that are inspirational/wow:
• For people who love Carl Sagan (The Frontier is Everywhere) and/or Feynman (Beauty)
• For people who love animals/nature, battle at kruger (lion vs croc vs wildebeast)
• The world: Where is Matt
posted by Wolfster at 5:48 AM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: For a bit of a smorgasbord of cool stuff, this up-tempo 'Best of web' video was on the Blue a while back.
posted by Happy Dave at 6:09 AM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Neo and Tuxedo, the best skateboarding dogs in the world.
posted by BibiRose at 6:11 AM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Some musical stuff I've enjoyed:
Venezuelan home style band
Maybelle & Sara Carter Cannonball Blues
Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys - Dusty Skies...to footage of a Saturn V rocket launch run backwards
posted by bonobothegreat at 6:59 AM on February 2, 2012

The common factor in getting that wow reaction is...relevance! What information was largely ephemeral, and NOT indexed and searchable for your Aunt Myrtles for most of their lives?

Always wanted to see Buddy Holly play live? Buddy Holly and the Crickets on the Arthur Murray Dance Party. How did most people hear about Pearl Harbor? Via radio broadcast. And ZOMG The Muppet Wiki.

Also, almost everything having to do with airplane tickets. Seriously. I'm 38 and still am a little squee over having easy access to which particular seats are lousiest in any given plane, let alone predictions of when tickets will be cheapest and which flights are most often late.
posted by desuetude at 7:14 AM on February 2, 2012

Best answer: Solid Potato Salad
posted by peagood at 7:48 AM on February 2, 2012 [2 favorites]

Dancing Merengue Dog
posted by Wordwoman at 7:58 AM on February 2, 2012

I love youtube for channels like this or this which upload brilliant, obscure films that are hard to find elsewhere.
posted by outlandishmarxist at 9:16 AM on February 2, 2012

Best answer: I asked a question a while ago that might be relavent to your interests. Few of these are for Aunt Myrtle.
posted by cmoj at 10:44 AM on February 2, 2012

One fun thing is that we can find old stuff they never thought they would see again. Eg old music performances by their favorite artists of bygone years, that old ad jingle from the '50s, that one sketch they remember from Saturday Night Live from 1985 but haven't seen since, etc. That takes it out of the "America's Funniest Home Videos" category and shows them a totally different function.

Also - things like being able to get live video from current events around the world - live feeds from Tahrir Square last year, or Japanese news stations' feeds during the earthquake/tsunami/meltdown crisis, or live sporting events that aren't covered by US tv stations like sailing races, etc. This kind of depends what is happening in the world when you're showing them this stuff, though.

Live webcams! For things like nesting owls or nesting eagles, those are a big hit with nature loving friends. Also puppycam!
posted by LobsterMitten at 12:53 PM on February 2, 2012

The people saying "old obscure stuff" are right on. If there is a family memory about a strange show that the Uncle Joe was obsessed with in 1962 that no one has ever heard of since, and it takes you 10 seconds to find clips from it, they will be sore amazed. (My mom just lost it over this creepy thing that she loved as a child, for example.)
posted by tchemgrrl at 1:30 PM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Maybe not appropriate, but it reminded me of that amazing pole dancing video on the Blue recently: amazing yoga.
posted by ifjuly at 2:38 PM on February 2, 2012

Best answer: Birds Fly Away by Theresa Andersson
Claremont Skip to 2:23.
Similarly, Mieders Alpine Coaster.
posted by cnc at 3:08 PM on February 2, 2012

Best answer: One to watch full-screen and with the sound turned up: A murmuration
posted by iffley at 2:08 AM on February 3, 2012 [4 favorites]

I love the Where the hell is Matt? video, and I don't think it requires any background knowledge or hipness.
posted by Lexica at 6:55 PM on February 4, 2012

I loved the pole dancing video on the blue not that recently. On my phone and can't find the link right now, but if you or anyone can't fine it, memail me.
posted by insectosaurus at 4:37 PM on February 5, 2012

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